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Remembering Chris Bradley, 1965-2018

Laura Dachenbach

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What will be the job of a meteorologist in heaven?

I’m not sure if I think of heaven as a place of eternally ideal weather, but I do think of it as a place of purpose. There’s a job for everyone in heaven.

When I first met Chris Bradley, I didn’t know who he was. I was new to King Avenue United Methodist Church, and Chris was just a nice guy corralling his young son in the milling area, which was full of other people I didn’t know. He was the dad that everyone wanted, standing with a watchful and proud eye and who was always ready for a hug and kiss.

Such a stunning smile, I thought. Almost like a trademark.

He was the friend everyone wanted to be with, adding a buoyancy, an accessibility, a welcomeness to the conversation.

Sharp ties. This guy’s got some sharp ties.

The more I observed, the more I wondered. Somehow, he seemed like someone I knew, or should know. One day, I decided to engage Chris in the only awkward conversation I knew him to have.

“So what do you do?”

“The weather on Channel 10.”

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The dots started to connect. My face became warm. I started wearing hats and sunglasses and avoiding Chris for a couple weeks, hoping he’d forget me. But that wasn’t possible with the gregarious Bradley-Krausses, and eventually I grew to know and adore this charming and very musical bunch: Chris (who was an adopted child) his husband Jason, and their two adopted children Spencer and Maria—four people connected not by blood, but by their love for each other.

The Bradley-Krausses became activists simply by being a family and living out their love for each other and their community with endearing authenticity, creating bonds that have extended beyond the loss of a family member.

In their dying, some people give the rest of us life because they illuminate what life should be about. Chris Bradley’s death from an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia was one of those moments. We can sometimes strangely forget the worthiness of our own lives—the reality that life is indeed more than existence and schedules and tasks. Chris fought for his life because he knew life was worth living. And we should also fight every day for this rare and precious privilege to be alive: to understand all that we can, say all that we can, and be all that we can for however long we are called to do so. Life itself is a terminal illness, and once in a while we are granted a remission from that affliction in being allowed to witness a soul such as Chris love life so much that we cannot help but fall in love with it again.

Weather is defined as an “act of God” because it is completely out of our control. Death is also out of our control. Both tend to depress people. I imagine the great faith in God Chris maintained throughout his life and illness is why he could confront both these inevitabilities with awe, never letting either of them overwhelm him, make him become bitter, or lessen his spirit.
Weather is what makes our planet alive.

Chris is now a part of the rain that will nourish the beloved gardens around his home. He is part of the sunshine that will smile on his husband and children. He’ll be in the iridescence of every rainbow we post on Instagram and part of the joy of every Columbus kid’s snow day. Each time we marvel at the mercurial, if not downright wacky amalgamation of temperature and precipitation that is Columbus weather, we will remember our Chris Bradley.

Welcome to the incredible green screen of heaven Chris. You’ve still got a job, we’re still watching, and I have my derecho plan. Thanks for that.

Donations in the memory of Chris Bradley can be made to The Columbus Foundation. Visit columbusfoundation.org/fund/bradley/3730.

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Coronavirus

Big Ten sports will be conference-only come this fall

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Hold your beers, Buckeyes!

If you had plans to head out to Oregon come September to see the Buckeyes take on the Ducks, you’ll have to put your cooler back in the garage, because cross-country football road trips are on hiatus for 2020. 

According to reports from The Athletic and ESPN, the Big Ten Conference is going to announce conference-only play for fall athletics. You can read the official statement from the Big Ten here.

The Big Ten is the first of the Power 5 conferences to announce the decision to scrap non-conference games. After losing non-conference games with the Big Ten, the Pac-12 is expected to make a similar announcement, according to The Athletic.

Some of the reasons behind a conference-only schedule include cutting down on travel while also making sure that athletes are being tested diligently for COVID-19.

There is support amongst Big Ten teams to keep one non-conference game, but the majority support a shortened 10-game schedule.

If this were the case, and basing it off of the original 2020 OSU football schedule, here is who the Buckeyes would match up against this fall:

  • vs. Rutgers on Sept. 26
  • vs. Iowa on Oct. 10
  • @ Michigan State on Oct. 17
  • @ Penn State on Oct. 24
  • vs. Nebraska on Oct. 31
  • vs. Indiana on Nov. 7
  • @ Maryland on Nov. 14
  • @ Illinois on Nov. 21
  • vs. Michigan on Nov. 28

As long as we get to beat Xichigan, right? You can keep an eye on the OSU football schedule here.

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Coronavirus

DeWine outlines college requirements for Fall, updates Franklin County’s COVID-19 level

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Gov. Mike DeWine started off his weekly COVID-19 update, which will take place once a week on Thursdays moving forward, outlining a plan to reopen Ohio colleges and updates to the COVID-19 warning levels for each Ohio county.

Here were some of the major talking points as they pertain to Columbus residents:

  • DeWine outlined the minimum requirements for the 167 institutions of higher learning in Ohio to reopen in the fall. They include:
    • Strict testing tailored toward their particular campus and community.
    • Isolation of those showing symptoms
    • Designated housing for relocating those requiring isolation
    • You can visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for a full list of minimum operating standards and best practices for further enhancing those standards
    • DeWine is asking for $200 million in CARES Act funds toward institutions of higher learning in Ohio.
    • “Colleges and universities really drive our economy,” DeWine said.
  • Franklin County, which was on the watchlist approaching Level 4 last week, was taken off the watchlist on Thursday.
  • Franklin County was taken off of the watchlist because it saw a decrease in the number of residents being admitted to the hospital.
  • The county still remains at Level 3 due to the following factors:
    • There have been 2,200 cases within the last 14 days, which means that the county exceeds the high incidence category for COVID-19 as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
    • COVID-19 cases have increased from an average of 94 cases per day on June 16 up to 175 cases per day on July 2.
    • More residents have been seeking medical care, up from 171 to 302 outpatient visits per day.
    • COVID-19 emergency room visits have increased from an average of 27 ER visits on June 16 up to 56 ER visits on July 4.
  • Franklin County is still considered at Level 3 because they are still experiencing four to five COVID-19 indicators and its category can’t improve unless it sees a decline for two consecutive reporting periods.
  • Hamilton, Butler, and Cuyahoga counties were upgraded to approaching Level 4 on Thursday.
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Closings

COSI to delay reopening due to COVID-19 concerns

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COSI will not reopen today as hoped.

After making plans at the end of June to reopen this week, COSI has made the difficult, yet cautious, decision to delay welcoming guests back in its doors.

On Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine declared Franklin County to be approaching Alert Level 4—the highest level alert—of the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System for COVID-19 response. Currently, Franklin County is the only Ohio county approaching Alert Level 4, and COSI has taken Gov. DeWine’s declaration very seriously.

You can read a statement provided by COSI below:

“After careful consideration of the current COVID-19 situation in Franklin County, COSI has made the difficult decision to delay its planned reopening. COSI has undertaken this action out of concern for the health and safety of its Members, Guests, and Team. The Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System currently ranks Franklin County as an Alert Level 3, indicating a very high exposure and spread of coronavirus, and the State of Ohio has announced that Franklin County is currently approaching Alert Level 4. COSI will continue to monitor the situation along with state and local health officials.”  

Statement from COSI on Wednesday


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